Territory Journey: Rick Sosa follows the Vikings
Our Vikings Insider Rick Sosa has been traveling to each of the last three Minnesota Vikings games, and has a quick recap of each game and the future of the Purple following the devastating loss in Tampa Bay Sunday.
The Bridgewater Experience
Teddy Bridgewater arrived to an empty US Bank stadium trying to show his former team he is reminiscent of a franchise QB even without his best ally in Christian McCaffrey. After Jeremy Chinn had to defensive scores for the Panthers and Chad Beebe muffed a punt with two minutes to go it looked like the season was over for the Vikings. But it wasn’t. Kirk Cousins lead his team to a game winning drive ironically finding Beebe for the TD pass. Carolina had one last chance but kicker Joey Slye squandered his attempt and the Vikings got the win.
Now it was the turn of the Jacksonville Jaguars to visit US Bank stadium looking to be a spoiler and ruin the Vikings season. HC Doug Marrone at 1-10 had nothing to lose and sent his players to the field in basically a tryout for next year. QB Mike Glennon surprised the Vikings with the cooperation of a disoriented defense that had learned LB Eric Kendricks was out for the game before it even started. Minnesota’s offense was too fixated in making Dalvin Cook overcome the eight man box and wasted two quarters before they began utilizing their other big playmaker Justin Jefferson. Once Kirk Cousins and Jefferson began stretching the field it was all downhill for Cook and the offensive line. But the special teams woes continued and now K Dan Bailey got the Vikings into OT with some missed kicks during the game. Bailey redeemed himself nailing the game winner from a short distance. The Vikings got another victory and remain in the hunt for a playoff spot.
By the looks of my early morning flight to Tampa Bay a lot of loyal and hardcore Vikings fans made the trip down to Florida in search of warmer weather and in search of what would’ve been an improbable purple victory.
Buccaneers QB Tom Brady was coming off a bye week and had all of his main weapons at his disposal including former Minnesota Gophers Antoine Winfield Jr. and Tyler Johnson clearly had this game circled in their calendars since last spring.
But Mike Zimmer has become a Minnesotan himself through and through. Typically when the cards are stacked against him, Zimmer designs his best defensive schemes and this game seemed like no exception, especially early.
Sunday was a game in which the outcome was all up to the Vikings players to execute Zimmer’s game plan. They had a huge opportunity to and make a statement in the NFC. But, a combination of missed kicks and a porous offensive line ended the Vikings’ chances and momentum.
Regime will remain
Regardless of the negative outcome in Tampa or the entire/rest of the season for that matter the entire trifecta Spielman/Zimmer/Cousins will be back in 2021. With multiple challenges during this Covid season and several rookies on defense the Wilf brothers will chose to continue with the current project and improve next season. That however does not mean a QB is out of the question during the first round of next year’s draft. Unlikely as the team has other needs especially at DT and CB.